Tuesday 8 September 2020

Transforming Moms into Montessorians during the Corona Pandemic Lockdown - A Mom's view

The school that set a record on how far it can go and what best it can do for their children at these unfortunate times of Corona Pandemic Lockdown


This post is neither a sponsor nor anything to do with the promotion of the school but purely from the gratitude filled heart of a mother whose child is blessed to be a part of this wonderful community of Al Qamar Academy.

My knowledge about Montessori Education before and after Corona Pandemic

A few months back or before the pandemic, to be more specific, I was constantly confronted with these questions, “What is this Montessori Education all about?” “Did you make the right choice for your child?” I always panicked. It is not that I didn’t research about Montessori Education before I decided to put my two and half year old girl into a Montessori school. Indeed, I did my research if asking Google is considered researching. However, for parents, fear and confusion often arises when seeing the majority, conventional school parents walking in one direction whereas a very small group of Monessorian parents walking in the opposite direction like rebels

When a three-year-old kid from a traditional school recites all the English alphabets, words from Apple to Zebra, and sings plenty of rhymes like a tape recorder, and when my three-year-old girl from the “rebel” group shows only interest in preparing lime juice, making dough for chapatis, and pounding    pulses    and    grains, as    a    Mother,     I     tended     to     panic. “Did I send my girl to school to learn house chores?”—this question was hammering in my mind. It felt like we Montessori parents were blindfolded and left stranded! But we were not.

We  weren’t  misled  but  guided  towards  the  path—right  and  bright  like sunshine.

Thanks to Corona Pandemic Lockdown (CPL) that played a greater part in transforming me, a stay at home mom and so many other moms into Montessorians. Don’t get that wrong. Corona didn’t educate us about Montessor!  It created an opportunity to learn from the humble, hardworking, and well-trained Montessorians of Al Qamar Academy (AQA).

When the schools in the whole world were and are taking online classes for children as young as 3 years, exposing them to the dangerous effects of blue light, AQA thought out of the box.

‘Train a mom and create a Montessorian in every home’ became the motto of AQA during this lockdown.

 Moms’ Montessori Training Program Organised by AQA

Three months back, AQA invited moms to join the Montessori training program (MTP). It was made optional probably because they didn’t want to burden the already overworked housewives and busy working moms.

With a handful of enthusiastic moms, the classes  started from June  10, 2020 at 3  to 3.30 pm, every day, with an exception of Saturdays and Sundays, and are still going on to this  date September 5, 2020, and probably will continue, perhaps until Corona exists, lol.

  • Live lectures were presented by the dedicated team of Montessorians, Ms. Thahira Owais, and Ms. Nikkath Ara.

  • At the end of every class, sharp at 4 pm, the PowerPoint file of the lecture was sent to our email.

  • Materials and sources were provided.

  • Assignment with a set of questions was given, every single day, which was later corrected, commented on, and discussed.

  • A theory exam was conducted.

  • Montessori activities were demonstrated.

  • The practical exam and viva-voce was conducted.

Everything was carried out online via Google classroom. Huh! Breathtaking!

Now, if someone asks me about Montessori and whether I made the right choice for my child, I can present a mini-lecture on the spot, and even run a debate, with utmost confidence and humble pride.

Mini-Montessori Homes

Mont home.jpg

This image ‘Mini-EPL environment’ is the outcome of MTP in just two months. Now! Every home of AQA Montessori children has a mini Montessori school, set up by moms under the humble and invaluable guidance of AQA teachers.

Looking at the image, one may wonder—

What are jugs and mugs, bowls and bottles, grains and pulses, sponges and socks, beads and threads, mortar and pestle, cutting board and knife, lemon squeezer and chapati roller are doing in the mini school environment?

Shouldn’t there be alphabet and rhyme books, two ruled and four ruled notebooks, pen and pencil, and the board and chalks and a bamboo stick to whack the butts of naughty children? Well! That’s exactly what I asked when I visited the Montessori school. Traditional school minds think alike.

Whoa! Why isn’t there even a single sign of the traditional school?

I got the answers during MTP and was astonished.

Hidden in a glass of lime juice is my little one’s energy and muscle strength of her Lilliputian hands, determination of her heart and concentration of her alert mind, her striving for perfection, her independence and self-confidence, and above all, her joy in doing it.

Squeezing lemons, kneading dough, rolling chapatis, pounding pulses and grains, pouring water in jugs and glasses, cutting and grating the carrots and cucumbers, buttoning and unbuttoning the shirt, spooning and sorting grains, grooming, beading thread, and so on are—

  • to make the child, self-confident, self-obedient, and independent

  • to strengthen the intrinsic muscles of their teeny-weeny palms

  • to refine their fine motor skills and motor balance and co-ordination.

  • to develop their muscle memory

  • to develop the love for order, perfection, and satisfaction

  • to develop concentration Oh, Yeah! I have just named a few.

AQA Moms training program transformed my fear and confusion for the Montessori education system into respect and admiration.

I wonder—how many times my jaw dropped while I was learning about this brilliant system, in awe, exclaiming, WOW!

Now, if someone asks me, what is the difference between the traditional and Montessori education system, I can answer in one line that shall speak for itself

‘Follow the child’, says Montessori education; ‘Rule the child’, says Traditional education.

A note of thanks to the dedicated team of Montessorians of AQA

Blessed are not just our children but also (we) parents

to have you all as our beloved

teachers’ and kind sisters;

Words shall fall short to

express our gratitude so we

include you in our supplications to

the One, the Exalted

to shower His profound mercy

on each one of you and your family and

all your generations to follow.


Ending with these quotes to highlight the essence of Montessori Education

The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, ’The children are now working as if I did not exist.’

We teachers can only help the work going on, as servants wait upon a master.

- Maria Montessori

By Um Hunaifa

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